What are First Contact Physiotherapists?

First Contact Physiotherapists (FCPs) are specialist Physiotherapists with enhanced skills, usually based in GP surgeries.

They can help patients with musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, arthritis, or muscle problems by:

  • Assessing and diagnosing
  • Providing expert advice on management
  • Making onward referrals as necessary

Most FCPs have additional skills meaning they can order blood tests and x-rays, complete sick notes and organise prescriptions. FCPs can make onward referrals to other services such as Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, Physiotherapy and Podiatry as necessary.

When to see your FCP?

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Which GP surgeries are currently covered by the FCP service?

·        Chippenham (Rowden Surgery, Hathaway Medical Centre, Lodge Surgery)

·        Corsham and Box (Porch Surgery and Box Surgery)

·        Calne (Northlands Surgery)

·        Melksham (Spa Medical Centre and Giffords Surgery)

·        Bradford on Avon

·        Trowbridge (Trowbridge Health Centre and Lovemead)

·        Codford, Wilton, Fovant, Shrewton (The Orchard Partnership­)

·        Market Lavington (Courtyard Surgery)

·        Tisbury, Mere, Hindon, Silton, Sixpenny Handley

·        Salisbury (Three Chequers Medical Practice)

How can I arrange an appointment with an FCP?

You may be appropriate to have an FCP appointment if you have any of the following:

  • All soft tissue injuries, sprains, strains, or sports injuries
  • Arthritis – any joint
  • Possible problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons or bone, eg tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, ankle sprains
  • Spinal pain including lower back pain, mid-back pain and neck pain
  • Spinal-related pain in arms or legs, including nerve symptoms, eg pins and needles or numbness
  • Changes to walking
  • Post-orthopaedic surgery

Patients can access an FCP appointment by speaking to the GP practice receptionist. A referral from a GP is not required. This allows quicker access to an expert assessment and advice, helping patients manage their conditions more effectively and recover faster.

What should I expect from an FCP appointment?

Most patients can expect an initial telephone appointment with an FCP. The purpose of this is to gain an in depth understanding of the problem and to make a decision on the most appropriate next steps, this could include coming in to see the FCP for a face to face assessment.

FCPs do not provide on going episode of treatment like a traditional Physiotherapist. If this is required, a referral will be made to the local Physiotherapy department

How satisfied are patients following an FCP appointment?

Over 90% of patients would rate their consultation with an FCP as very good, excellent or outstanding! (April 2021-April 2023.)

The results below are based on the opinions of over 4,000 patients: